Listen to this article
As if having to deal with acne and dryness wasn’t enough, most of us have yet another skin problem to deal with. Stretch marks!
From a growth spurt and a significant muscle growth from weight training to pregnancy and weight loss or gain—several factors can cause this almost-irreversible damage to your skin.
“Stretch marks are narrow, long streaks that appear on your skin whenever your skin is extremely stretched. There is a break in the elastic fibres, which can lead to a scarred thin skin, thus causing stretch marks,” says Dr Sushant Shetty, head of medical operations, Kaya Skincare Limited.
A more common occurrence in women, stretch marks can make their appearance on various body parts including thighs, buttocks, stomach, breasts, and shoulders. And much to our disappointment, it has no definite cure.
However, a study published in the International Journal of Science and Research says that castor oil application makes for an effective treatment for many skin problems including stretch marks. Here’s why:
Firstly, it can prevent stretch marks from appearing
“Castor oil has antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are responsible for accelerating the process of the appearance of these marks. Hence, using castor oil at the right time can prevent the appearance of stretch marks,” says Dr Shetty.
It conditions and moisturises the skin
According to a study published in the International Journal of Science and Research, 90% of castor oil consists of monounsaturated fat called ricinoleic acid, which can provide your skin with some extra conditioning so that it doesn’t get dry. This keeps the appearance of stretch marks from becoming very obvious and prominent.
It can prep your skin well in advance to fight off stretch marks
All the extra elasticity from the generous dose of monounsaturated fat from castor oil can increase the elasticity of your skin, thereby, preventing it from forming scars when it is stretched.
It can accelerate scar healing
As per the National Library of Medicine, castor oil stimulates tissue growth, reduces the build-up of dead skin cells that can interfere with the scar-healing process, and creates a moist environment for the scars to heal faster. Hence, you can defo count on it to reduce the appearance of the stretch marks that have already made themselves visible.
For best results, Dr Shetty recommends applying castor oil in the morning and at night on areas where you start noticing stretch marks. Gently massage it in circular motions into your skin and leave it on for a few hours before washing it off.